Jalopy is kind of an old-fashioned word. I just bought a twenty-one year old Jeep Wrangler. I have fondly dubbed her “My Jeeplopy”. I had a choice to pick out a newer model or a brand-new vehicle, but there was something about buying it out-right that appealed to my penny-pinching side.
I know many women who would look at the tattered and stained seats, dents and missing parts and say, “No way am I going to be caught in THAT piece of crap!” But, I could see the beauty in her. A little cleaning and a few additions would have her looking respectable. The engine looked good, and it started right up.
I felt like a teenager with their first car when I drove to the car wash and washed and waxed the Wrangler. I pictured driving with the top off during the summer with the wind blowing through my dark — wait, a second — my silver tresses as I drive along the Great River Road.
Boxes of new accessories for my baby are delivered almost daily as I give her some tender loving care. No worries, though, I tend to stick to desert camo and black accessories and avoid the pink and teal components. I’ll save the bright colors for my Jeep-themed t-shirts and caps.
I’ve also received feedback from a fan (you know who you are!) that I can never get rid of “Clare’s Jeep”. Trust me, I won’t, at least not for a very long time.
The following excerpt is from one of my WIP (Works in Progress) — Not Mama’s Little Girl, Anymore! The main character, Natalie, is describing how she approaches love.
The easiest way to describe my point of view about love is that I’m the human version of a Labrador Retriever. I love to eat, play hard, and have a need to get down and dirty in the mud. When I love someone, I live for the time when I’ll see them again, when I’ll hear their voice, and when I can cuddle up beside them–or better yet—sit on their lap. My big soulful eyes reflect your pain or sparkle with your happiness. My heart belongs to only one.
I’m different than the French poodle type of gal. She primps and postures for the masses looking for her next trophy. She’s all curly hair and pink bows but her facade is only window dressing and a bit of mud will destroy the illusion.
(This is not a put-down of poodles of any kind or the French. I love them both, but an analogy of how different women can be from their counterparts.)
I have a love/hate relationship with my elliptical. It wasn’t even that I’d paid a king’s ransom to purchase one. My sister and her boyfriend carted it about 200 miles in the back of their SUV — FREE!
I was so excited at first… Then I realized I preferred walking outside to being inside on a machine, but I live in the frosty North which translates into “I either workout indoors or I get fatter over the winter.” My dilemma was simple. I’m a wimp and it was too easy to get off the elliptical when I got tired. When I’m walking I can be four miles from home, and I don’t have a choice but walk back.
I’d made great strides in my training over the summer and I didn’t want to regress. I paced back and forth by the dusty gift contemplating whether I could succeed where I was unsuccessful for (Wait for it!) years. Yes, it isn’t a typo. YEARS!!
I’d tried several times over the years but after I exercised on the elliptical ten to fifteen minutes I’d stop stating that it was too hard. Which is a crock of expletive. I was in the Army. I was a brown belt in Tae Kwon Do. True, that was years ago, but I’d done the tough stuff. I would walk for two to three hours in the heat until I was so tired I could barely put one foot in front of the other.
I wasn’t going to let a big, old, gray instrument of torture get the best of me. I armed myself with my water bottle and my secret weapon — a music playlist. I also prepared to go all drill instructor on myself if I tried to wimp out again. My goal was to remain on the thing for thirty minutes. Double my longest time. I hit play on my phone put the earbuds in and preceded to conquer the gray devil.
I listen to many artists and different genres. It’s music that makes me move, helps me to write and relax. Here’s a sample of a few songs I listened to this morning. I’m also happy to say I tamed that gray beast and I exercise for over 60 minutes at a time. And yes, I did have to go all drill instructor on myself that first time. It was ugly…
This project is near and dear to my heart. My short story — Not Mama’s Little Girl — is in the Fiction anthology in case you want to check it out!
I am so proud to be associated with such a generous and talented group of individuals. I’m pre-ordering my copies now at a special price on Amazon.com. Follow the links in the blog to get your copies, too.
Over a year ago, UK author Jason Greenfield decided to enlist his writer friends to join him in a literary effort to raise money for charity through the publication of a collection of short stories. Over the months since that initial internet message to his fellow writers, a thirty-member cadre of writers from a variety […]
I like winter. I know, I know, a lot of people hate winter, the sub-zero weather, and snow etc. accompanying the season, but I enjoy many aspects of the season. Wood burning in the fireplace, hot cocoa, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, and frost covered trees are all reasons I love this time of year. Except for one thing–it tends to be the cold and flu season, too.
I’m a nurse who isn’t a stranger to nursing sick individuals back to health. I’m also a big, ol’ whiny baby when I’m not feeling well. I hate wearing hats even on the worst days and last week I headed out the door on a fairly nice day for this time of year without hat or scarf and proceeded to go on a long walk. Five plus miles later, I returned home feeling energized, but by bedtime, I was starting to feel cranky.
Sneezy, stuff;y, scratchy throat and all the other joyful symptoms of a cold descended during the night. I croaked out my good mornings, took a boatload of analgesics and searched for cold medicine. Nope. None to be found. I could have walked to the grocers but I remembered suddenly that I’m a whiny ol’ baby and I was SICK!! Instead, I sent a text to my hubby and put in my order for orange juice, nighttime “coughing, sneezing prevention so you can rest” medicine and something quick for supper.
My man provided. Thank God! Now, three days later and I’m on the road to recovery. I’m ready to go out and shovel the walks without a hat and scarf or snowshoe (if only it would snow a little bit more…) Yeah, I know. I’m crazy, but I guess that’s why I love winter!
Darn! He’s married. Sigh. What a shame–he is such a sharp dresser.
I am the grandmother of a three year old yellow lab. He is my baby, and I went to the farm with my son to bring him home with that little wiggly ball of puppy in my arms. This pup has lived with us off and on during his short life.
He lives full-time in Milwaukee now, so we see him around the holidays. He was with us this Thanksgiving weekend. And his “Gma” got to take him on walks by the river, play ball with him and attempt to hold him on her lap (all 90 lbs of him).
And like many grandkids, when it’s time to go, a favorite toy is missing. His Kong!!! Oh, no! The toy we stuff with frozen green beans and peanut butter is lost. Of course, all of the adults are searching the house for the missing toy. I’m down on my hands and knees searching under sofas and beds. I tear the living room and library apart checking between the chair cushions and under throw pillows. After a search of the backyard, it’s determined that the kong is lost and a saddened puppy and his human get into the car and drive across the state to home.
This morning, I started cleaning the guest room. Guess what I found under the comforter on the bed? Yup, a blue rubbery toy. The search for Kong is over.
I was out walking my usual route the other morning, and I saw my neighbor, Jill. She wasn’t alone, and she introduced me to Gus. He was friendly and a date was planned for the next day.
I broke the news to my special guy that night. “I’m meeting Gus tomorrow morning.”
My stomach was in knots. I set my alarm and hurried through getting ready and eating breakfast. I didn’t want to be late to meet my new friend. I couldn’t help smiling when I saw him walking towards us.
By now, you are probably confused about why I would bring someone else on my date. I apologize for leading you on. Jill and her newly adopted dog, Gus, were going to go with my canine buddy and me on a walk. I guess you’d call it a Doggy Play Date.
Talk about excitement It was C.’s first play date. He’d been to the dog park when he lived with his owner, my eldest son, but not since coming to live with my husband and I. Would they get along? I hoped my anxiety didn’t affect them.
After a few growling, tail-between-the-legs moments, we were able to proceed on the walk, keeping a ten-yard distance between the two pups. The maneuvering to get the dogs under control provided entertainment. The guys at the gas station thought it was funny, anyway. The dogs would cast furtive looks at each other as they walked on opposite sides of the road.
Jill and I caught up with what was going on with our adult children and after 2.5 miles, our dogs bonded. It was all play bows and happy dancing. I’m happy to report Gus and C. will be seeing each other again.